Boise City needs a shooting range for the coppers and the city owns bare ground in a blighted area–which they created–that needs to be developed. Obvious solution is to sell the bare ground and buy the shooting range.
Not in this River City. Boise officials are scrambling to clean up the swap with some docs who want to build a private hospital on City land at 25th and Fairview. The scramble is after the fact because the Council has ALREADY APPROVED IT!
The deal calls for a trade that is highly questionable. Authority is claimed via a four year old council action. All of the current negotiations have been conducted in secret meetings with the final approval lumped among 15 other minor items on a “consent agenda.” Closing was put on hold for a month after the GUARDIAN sent a letter to the council questioning the compliance with Idaho Code.
Sorry to keep whipping this horse, but we feel it is important for Boise City to play by the rules. The City legal department–actually pretty reasonable folk– “has been directed” to not talk with us according to a polite call we got from a legal department staffer.
We were shuffled to the spokesman for Team Dave–who is not an attorney. The following legal questions have been sent to him and we will gladly share the answers.
–If this deal was OK and so insignificant that it was on the consent agenda, why consider it again?
–What PUBLIC PURPOSE do we have in the acquisition of land at 950 Citation off Gowen Road?
–The Ada assessor is adamant the 950 Citation land is worth at MOST $241,000–and probably less– due to basalt rock at surface. Why are we not challenging the $414,000 value?
–Are we open to any type of fraud allegations by potentially allowing the other side a $190,000 deduction on Income taxes? (If they indeed claim one). Isn’t it like making an insurance claim for $2,000 when repair costs were only $1,000 because the repair estimate was inflated?
–The November 2004 ordinance calls for $9.35 per square foot. My math indicates we got a lot less than that. I think the $9.35 figure would have yielded about $1.7 million. This deal is for less.
–Is the original notice and hearing still good if the description of the land and price is altered? It would seem that a four year old notice with no details of the actual exchange would not be binding.
–Is that 2004 ordinance from a previous council binding on the current council for future actions? One elected body cannot impose obligations on a future body as the GUARDIAN understands the law.
–Has the City asked for proposals from any other realtors or developers who would still get us the shooting range in trade?
–Why is the City land not just put up for bid and auctioned to the highest bidder instead of this convoluted three way swap with so many parties involved?
–What is the problem with putting it up for bid? We may get more, or we may get less, in which case someone can get a head start on the development process. At least it would not smack of insider trading with a single organization.
UPDATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON:
Park also refused to answer the questions, but invited the GUARDIAN to appear before the Council at a public meeting Tuesday September 30 at 6p.m. We will be there and hope there are others interested enough in good government to attend as well.
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